Bidco is not fit to join UNDP’s project – UN
United Nations investigators have faulted a decision inviting Bidco Ltd into partnership with the United Nations Development Programme’s – Business Call to Action – in Uganda.
In a draft report made public on November 8, the investigators said the allegations of Bidco’s engagement in human rights, labour and environmental violations were not adequately assessed.
“After the fieldwork and additional research, UN’s Social and Environmental Compliance Unit concluded that the processes employed by UNDP for admission of Bidco were not consistent with UNDP policies,” the draft Compliance Review report says.
The report warns that a partnership with Bidco “could adversely damage UNDP’s reputation and the communities it seeks to help”.
The UN further acknowledges that errors were made in the assessment of Bidco as a partner.
“(UN) staff identified several important risks – at least partially fulfilling the requirement to assess risks – but did not clearly follow up in a satisfactory way or characterise risks accurately,” the report says.
It also indicates the UN staff evaluating Bidco did not provide details of the criticism, indicate whether and, or, how UNDP staff evaluated the controversie “e.g., whether staff discussed the controversies with the company or others, or indicate how the controversies had been, or would be, addressed,” the report says.
The investigators, however, caution that their report in no way implies that Bidco has, or has not, violated human rights or is complicit in human rights violations.
“Such a determination is beyond the scope of this report, which is focused primarily on the adequacy of UNDP’s due diligence and related transparency in the context of the BCtA (Business Call to Action) project,” the report says.
On January 15 this year, Bidco Africa announced it had joined BCtA.